Netanyahu Orders Embassy to Meet With Polish PM Over New Holocaust Law: ‘We Cannot Allow Holocaust Denial’

Original Article

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned Saturday new legislation in Poland which bars any mention of crimes by the “Polish nation” during the Holocaust, calling on Israel’s ambassador in Warsaw to meet with the Polish prime minister on the contentious bill.

“The law is baseless. I strongly oppose it. History cannot be changed and it is forbidden to deny the Holocaust. I ordered the Israeli embassy in Poland to meet with the Polish Prime Minister and express my firm stand against the law,” Netanyahu said.

>> Haaretz’s Special Coverage of Holocaust Remembrance Day <<

The deputy Polish ambassador in Israel has been called in for a reprimand at the Foreign Ministry. The Polish ambassador is currently abroad.

In a statement from the President’s Office, President Reuven Rivlin also  criticized the bill, saying that “on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, more than ever, and above all considerations, we are faced with our duty to remember our brothers and sisters who were murdered.”

On Friday, the Polish parliament approved a controversial law forbidding any mention of participation of the “Polish nation” in crimes committed during the Holocaust. Yair Lapid, the head of the centrist Yesh Atid party, got into a Twitter feud with the Polish embassy in Israel on Saturday and even had to remind them not give him, the child of Holocaust survivors, a lesson on the subject, prompting them to label him “shameless.”

Survivors and guests walk past the "Arbeit Macht Frei" gate at the former Nazi German concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz, during the ceremonies marking the 73rd anniversary of the liberation of the camp and International Holocaust Victims Remembrance Day, in Oswiecim, Poland, January 27, 2018. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel
Survivors and guests walk past the “Arbeit Macht Frei” gate at the former Nazi German concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz, during the ceremonies marking the 73rd anniversary of the liberati\ KACPER PEMPEL/REUTERS

>> ‘Orgy of murder’: The Poles who ‘hunted’ Jews and turned them over to the Nazis <<

“I utterly condemn the new Polish law which tries to deny Polish complicity in the Holocaust. It was conceived in Germany but hundreds of thousands of Jews were murdered without ever meeting a German soldier,” Lapid tweeted Saturday.

The law also forbids use of the term “Polish death camp” to describe the death camps where Jews and others were murdered in Nazi-occupied Poland during World War II. Anyone who violates the new law, including non-Polish citizens, will be liable to a fine or imprisonment for up to three years.

“There were Polish death camps and no law can ever change that,” Lapid wrote. However, the Polish embassy in Israel quickly responded, writing Lapid: “Your unsupportable claims show how badly Holocaust education is needed, even here in Israel.”

The embassy also linked to a statement by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, an international organization representing 27 nations and dedicated to the memory of the Holocaust, which supports the idea that it is “historically unsupportable to use the terms ‘Polish death camps.'”

“There were Polish death camps and no law can ever change that,” Lapid wrote. However, the Polish embassy in Israel quickly responded, writing Lapid: “Your unsupportable claims show how badly Holocaust education is needed, even here in Israel.”

The embassy also linked to a statement by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, an international organization representing 27 nations and dedicated to the memory of the Holocaust, which supports the idea that it is “historically unsupportable to use the terms ‘Polish death camps.'”

 

 

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